The following is a selected list of resources for starting research in medieval studies. For help finding primary sources, try the guide to Research Using Primary Sources. For further assistance, ask at the Reference Desk.
Off-campus access to some of the electronic resources listed on this page is limited to current UO students, faculty, and staff and is indicated by a UO button.
The following reference sources can help you identify a topic for your research, provide an overview of a specific issue or topic, and suggest other materials which might be useful for your research. Always use the index if one is available.
- Dictionary of the Middle Ages; KNIGHT REFERENCE D114.D5 1982
A thirteen-volume encyclopedia of signed articles including cross references and bibliographies. Arranged alphabetically. This is a good source for topics on many different issues. Vol. 13 includes an extensive index. One of my favorite sources for beginning research on a medieval topic!
- Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages; KNIGHT REFERENCE CB351 .E53 2000
A two-volume encyclopedia with brief essays signed by the authors. Each entry includes a bibliography for further research, although many of the works cited are not in English. "It is designed to offer scholars a compact, reliable information source in areas beyond their own immediate expertise."
- Encyclopedia of the Renaissance; KNIGHT REFERENCE CB361 .E52 1999
A six-volume encyclopedia with similar organization to the Dictionary of the Middle Ages above.
- Brill's New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World KNIGHT REFERENCE DE5 .N4813 2002
The first volumes are now available in an English-language edition of the encyclopedia of the ancient world. Der neue Pauly: Enzyklopädie der Antike has only been available in German up until now. This series will continue to grow over the next few years. Includes signed articles with footnotes and cross-references.
- Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism; KNIGHT REFERENCE PN681.5 .C57
A thirty-eight-volume set of extensive articles. Provides background and excerpts of criticism in chronological order. Includes bibliographies and illustrations. Indexed by author, topic, title, and critic.
- Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature; KNIGHT REFERENCE PN669 .E53 2000
A single volume of brief, signed articles with selected bibliographies. The emphasis is on English literature. Contains an index and an additional select bibliography.
- Medieval Wordbook; KNIGHT REFERENCE CB351 .C63 2001
A multi-disciplinary dictionary of medieval terms covering such areas as art & architecture, science & medicine, literature & law, liturgy & ceremony, sex, costume, cookery, magic, religion, etc.
- Medieval France: An Encyclopedia; KNIGHT REFERENCE DC33.2 .M441995, also available as an e-book for browsing and "check out."
A one-volume encyclopedia of medieval France. Arranged in alphabetical order. Includes see also references and cites sources for further reading. Browse the Reference shelves for or ask a Librarian about encyclopedias on other regions.
- Medieval Archaeology: An Encyclopedia; REF KNIGHT D125 .M42 2001
- Medieval England: An Encyclopedia; KNIGHT REFERENCE DA129 .M43 1998
- Medieval Germany: An Encyclopedia; KNIGHT REFERENCE DD157 .M43 2001
- Medieval Iberia: An Encyclopedia; REF KNIGHT DP99 .M33 2003
- Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia; REF KNIGHT DG443 .M43 2004
- Medieval Jewish Civilization: An Encyclopedia; KNIGHT REFERENCE DS124 .M386 2003
- Medieval Scandinavia: An Encyclopedia; KNIGHT REFERENCE DL30 .M43 1993
- Medieval Folklore: an Encyclopedia of Myths, Legends, Tales, Beliefs, and Customs; KNIGHT REFERENCE GR35 .M43 2000
A two-volume collection of signed essays with extensive bibliographies. Alphabetical organization. Presents "the folk cultures of medieval Europe in their own light and on their own terms."
- Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing; KNIGHT REFERENCE D14.E53 1999
A two-volume encyclopedia alphabetically arranged. The three types of essays include topical essays, those on individual historians, and those on nations or geographical regions. Geographical essays "provide a survey of the debates around historiographical questions within national histories." All entries include extensive bibliographies
- Other Strategies
- Check out Oxford Reference Online for more dictionaries on literature, folklore, language, mythology, religion, etc.
- Browse the nearby shelves for related information.
- Talk to your professor & others with subject knowledge.
- Ask a librarian.
There are too many specialized sources to include here. A few titles have been included as examples of the types of materials available. Search the library catalog or ask a Librarian about other specific sources for your topic.
- Biography and Genealogy Master Index
An index to hundreds of sources of biographical information of people worldwide from all time periods.
- An Annotated Index of Medieval Women; KNIGHT REFERENCE CT3220.A56 1992
Organized alphabetically by first name. Contains appendices for date; country; biographical category; last names, titles, regions, etc. Includes good bibliography for further reading.
- Encyclopedia of Women in the Middle Ages; KNIGHT REFERENCE HQ1143 .L38 2001
Covers individuals and topics such as the Inquisition, infanticide, law and women, witchcraft, etc. Most articles include suggested reading. Also has a glossary of medieval terms and an extensive thematic bibliography.
- Extraordinary Women of the Medieval and Renaissance World; KNIGHT REFERENCE HQ1143 .E93 2000
"Moves beyond some of [the] more familiar women to discuss a range of 'unsung' women...." Each entry is 3-4 pages including a portrait if available. Contains bibliographies and appendices by title, occupation, area of interest, country/region.
- Late Medieval Age of Crisis and Renewal, 1300-1500: A Biographical Dictionary; KNIGHT REFERENCE CB353 .L38 2001
Most entries are 1-2 page articles including brief bibliographies for more information. Contains appendices by geography and occupation.
- German Writers and Works of the Early Middle Ages, 800-1170; KNIGHT REFERENCE PT193 .G47 1995
- German Writers and Works of the High Middle Ages, 1170-1280; KNIGHT REFERENCE PT187 .G47 1994
- Literature of the French and Occitan Middle Ages: Eleventh to Fifteenth Centuries; KNIGHT REFERENCE PQ151 .L57 1999
- Old & Middle English Literature; KNIGHT REFERENCE PR166 .O43 1994
Volumes of The Dictionary of Literary Biography. The introductions include a good overview of literature of that place and time. Each contains extensive articles and bibliographies for individual writers. Highly recommended.
- Medieval Philosophers; KNIGHT REFERENCE B721 .M45 1992
Vol.115 of The Dictionary of Literary Biography. Contains extensive articles that list principal works, critical editions, editions in English, bibliographies, and references to further works. They include illustrations and information regarding the location and status of manuscripts.
- Oxford Dictionary of Popes
- Oxford Dictionary of Saints
- Who's who in early medieval England, 1066-1272; KNIGHT REFERENCE DA177 .T94 1996
- Who's who in Roman Britain and Anglo-Saxon England; KNIGHT REFERENCE DA145.2 .F55 1989
To look for articles in journals, newspapers, or magazines, you will need to start with an index. An index will allow you to look for article citations by subject, by author, or by a few keywords which describe your topic.
- International Medieval Bibliography; Also located at KNIGHT REFERENCE Z 6203 .I63
The International Medieval Bibliography is an interdisciplinary index for medieval studies, covering 450 to 1500, primarily in Europe. Indexes journals and festschriften from 1967 to the present. Citations are drawn from over 3,000 journals. See the IMB Guide for helpful search hints.
- Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index
Feminae covers journal articles, book reviews, and essays in books about women, sexuality, and gender during the Middle Ages.
- MLA International Bibliography
The main index to articles about literature, language and folklore. Covers articles published 1963 to the present. Indexes essay collections, dissertations, books and over 6,000 journals.
- Historical Abstracts
The main index in world history. It covers history except the U.S. & Canada from 1450 to the present.
- Academic Search Premier
An interdisciplinary index. Includes citations from popular as well as scholarly journals. Provides full text for over 3,600 journals as well as indexing and abstracts for nearly 4,500 additional journals many of which are peer reviewed.
- Other Indexes
Many specialized indexes are available from the Library Home Page on such topics as religious studies, women's studies, music, philosophy, literature, etc. Please explore these resources or ask a Librarian about other indexes for your topic.
After identifying articles which look useful for your research, look up the journal title, not the article title, in the UO Library Catalog to determine if the Library subscribes to this title and get the call number and location.
- UO Library Catalog
Identify books by topic, title or author. Identify journals and magazines owned by the UO Library. If you do not find a pre-1976 book here, look in the card catalog (by author or title only) in the Current Periodicals Room.
- Summit: the catalog of the Orbis Cascade Alliance
Orbis Cascade puts millions of items at your fingertips. Books not owned by the UO Library or not available for check out may be requested through Orbis Cascade Borrowing: Request Item.
The following is a select list of web sites that provide access to primary sources (or finding aids to primary sources) on medieval topics. See also Web Resources.
- EEBO: Early English Books Online
A full-text database of books and pamphlets published in England 1475-1700. Covers topics in many subject areas, including: English literature, history, philosophy, linguistics, theology, music, fine arts, education, mathematics, and science. Search by keyword, author, title, subject, illustration type, language (not just English), among other fields.
- Internet Medieval Sourcebook
A rich online collection of medieval texts in translation
- Anthology of Middle English Literature from Luminarium
Provides links to primary and secondary sources by and about such authors as Geoffrey Chaucer, Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, & Sir Thomas Mallory
- The Burgess Manuscript Collection On-Line Catalogue
A collection of manuscripts held in the UO Libraries' Special Collections
From Outside UO
- The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies
- NetSERF: The Internet Connection for Medieval Resources
- ORB: On-line Reference Book for Medieval Studies
- Medieval & Renaissance Studies from the Digital Librarian
- What Every Medievalist Should Know from Professor James Marchand and Stephen M. Carey at Washington University in St. Louis.